Monday, November 29, 2010

The Opposite of Love Is Not Hate

Last week, I posted some thoughts on the Boston club that shut down because too many people on line were black. I've since updated it.

The guy who organized the private party shares his "[dismay] that after having spent the last few hours with the club owner, I do not believe him to be a racist." Of course, the guy is, but that nonetheless made ptcruiser over at Prometheus6 wonder why guy's "deeper feelings" was even an issue. To which I responded that:
@ ptc - Okay. Let's set aside his deeper feelings. Discrimination took place. If the white-US can't accept that at least 93% of them are racist, then they need to accept that fact that discrimination happens, it happens primarily to people of color, and it's perpetrated primarily by whites. I'm not sure how we're going to at least end discrimination, if not racism, if white US-Americans won't live in reality.
ProfGeo puts it nicely. It's bad enough even some black folks will read this and argue argue that class, not race, is the problem. But to be able to do something racist and have your victims defend your sincerity - like that guy apologized to Cheney - that's just too much.
Today, ptcruiser shared this (and I don't know who Cobb is):

The aspect of this discussion focusing on whether the club owner's actions were motivated by racism or not reminded me of something Cobb wrote a few years ago that I saved:
"You see, the lesson I learned in interdependency was that, anybody who doesn't mind to see you fail is, by definition, your enemy. I didn't understand that - I thought that people had to dislike you and consciously plot against you. But in fact, all people have to do is know you and ignore or discount those who actually do plot against you. These are those who won't let you know that the truck is about to hit you. They want to see a crash and it doesn't matter to them that it's you. It doesn't matter how many episodes of Seinfeld you have discussed over lunch at the food court, they are nonetheless your enemy."

I just think that's something people need to grapple with, need to accept. You don't have to actively hate anyone to be racist. In fact, just a having a preference for one group over another still leads you ". . . to disadvantage [others]  and to deny them the opportunities you have in your group.” If you're white, and you're not actively fighting racism in yourself and others, you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. The opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference.

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This isn't too complicated. If you disagree with me, I'm more than happy to have an honest discussion. I'm quite open to learning new facts and ideas. I'm dying for a conservative to explain their ideas in a sensible way.

But, I do have rules, and they also apply to those who agree with me. They just get the benefit of my already knowing the fact they'll be referring to.

So, here're the comment thread rules:

1 - Use facts.
2 - Refer to policy.
3 - Don't rely on theories and conjectures. Show me how, for example, a public health insurance option will lead to "rationing" of health care.
4 - No unfounded attacks on any entity.

If you break those rules, I will edit your comment to my own whimsical satisfaction.

Lastly, perhaps most importantly, I'm not going to entertain too much pro-white/racism-denying discussion. I want this to be a space to discuss strategies to fight racism, not space where I have to fight racism. I want anti-racists to be able to come here for a mental respite. If what you're interested in doing is attempting to demonstrate the fallacy of anti-racism by repeating the same ole comments and questions and accusations we hear all the time, please do that somewhere else.

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But Don't Jack My Genuis